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Apple Developer Profile Changing? 545

Posted by simoniker
from the larger-ears dept.
rocketjam writes "According to InternetNews.com, Apple Computer is seeing large numbers of UNIX, Java and Open Source developers moving to its Mac OS X platform. Apple Vice President of Worldwide Developer Relations Ron Okamoto mentions that, in the three years since the introduction of OS X, 'people who have experience in those areas are showing a great interest in our OS. We're seeing a lot of first timers. It's really impressive.' The company said it has recently surpassed the 300,000 member threshold of registered developers. Apparently, the increase in enterprise code writers has prompted Apple to add more sessions focusing on enterprise and IT to its upcoming Worldwide Developers Conference."
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Apple Developer Profile Changing?

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  • by Kenja (541830) on Wednesday April 07, 2004 @05:05PM (#8796841)
    This may make up for the number of long time Apple devlopers that left after buying 9600 PowerMacs when we where told they would be the devlopment platform of choice for Apples next gen OS.
    • by THotze (5028) on Wednesday April 07, 2004 @05:16PM (#8797018) Homepage
      The 9600's WERE the developer platform of choice for their next-gen OS. They ran Rhapsody (OS X in its infancy) really well, and they're what Apple used to show off Rhapsody in the "early days". That was in 1997. The 9600 had a 50MHz bus, used 70ns RAM, and, realistically, never ran above 350MHz, or 300MHz (realistically, not ocunting the paper-release of the 350's) at launch.

      The 9600 was the preferred way of preparing to do devlopment on Rhapsody for several years after its release (and it had many more expansion slots than the PowerMac G3, which probably made it a better choice for doing driver development on Rhapsody).

      OS X wasn't released until 2000, and really, it wasn't till the end of 2001 that any sane person would consider using it. By that point, the 9600 was four years old, TWO processor generations out of the lead, and didn't have hte kind of graphics processor that OS X wanted.

      If Apple HAD made OS X work on the 9600, either OS X would have had to have shipped with many fewer features, or it would have CRAWLED to thep oint of a standstill (Remember how slow 10.0 was? Now, imagine that on a computer that had a 50MHz bus). Those who bought a 9600 could use it for about 3 years of software development before it was outdated, and it is still a decent development machine for OS 8.x and 9.x applications.

      In short, in 1997, when developers were asking for development machines for Rhapsody, the 9600 was the best Apple could do. The comptuers available by OS X's actual release were SO MUCH faster that you'd be insane to say that the 9600 should have stayed compatible.
      • by Kenja (541830) on Wednesday April 07, 2004 @05:21PM (#8797091)
        Too bad very few apps made for Rhapsody ran on OS X. My company and others I knew blew a LOT of cash while Apple was promising to release Rhapsody "any day now". From where I sat, Apple was clearing out their warehouses of old computers by fostering them off on developers. Knowing full well that they where door stops.

        Bottom line is that Apple used up a lot of "good faith" it had with the development community, regardless of if you agree with the reasons or not. They lost developers that they sorely needed and need.

        Don't even get me started on Yellow Box.

    • Simple reason (Score:4, Interesting)

      by bonch (38532) on Wednesday April 07, 2004 @05:26PM (#8797165)
      Cocoa kicks ass to develop with. Most people who use it can't imagine having not used it before. It's up there with .NET as far as positive developer reaction, but I think Cocoa is probably even more elegant
      • Mmmh, Cocoa. (Score:5, Interesting)

        by Latent Heat (558884) on Wednesday April 07, 2004 @06:22PM (#8797827)
        Cocoa seems to have some neat ideas. The whole ActiveX deal (as well as the .NET deal on Windows Forms) is the GoF Mediator pattern: control fires event, main form handles event and figures out what controls to update in response, and it is all very simple until you start developing a real program and then your main form is a rats' nest of responses to to events and figuring out what to do with them.

        Cocoa on the other hand seems to be more Observer pattern based -- you can link controls directly to each other with some kind of Controller object. And it also seems that you can define objects that express the "connections" that objects can have. I have looked at the docs and tried to make sense of it, but I guess I need to try it some time to really get the concept.

        On the other hand, Cocoa is based on Objective C, and I guess I am kinda of lazy about learning yet another language (is Java Cocoa as good?). Is Cocoa reference counted (like ActiveX)? Does this mean Cocoa is not keeping up with the GC'd Java and .NET Joneses? Or does Cocoa work just fine without GC the way it is?

        Can you create your own Cocoa controls (easily) (as with create your own ActiveX control -- not so easy, but not as difficult as you think these days with VS ATL, Delphi, and other tools, pretty easy with .NET)? If there is such a thing as a Cocoa control that you can develop yourself, drag and drop in a form, use with a scripting language, or place in a Web browser, does it have funky data types like with ActiveX (BSTR, VARIANT, SAFEARRAY), or can you pass arrays and object references at will like your can with Java or .NET?

        • by CoolMoDee (683437) on Wednesday April 07, 2004 @07:09PM (#8798339) Homepage Journal
          To answer your questions, Cocoa Java is pretty good, not as good as Cocoa w/ ObjC, but still damn good. Cocoa is refrence counted and can also be "GC'ed" (via autoreleasing). Comming from Java, I actually prefer the refrence counting over GC but that is just me. You can create your own cocoa 'controls' (called Views in Cocoa speak), and they damn pretty damn easy just need to implement the drawRect: method. As for the web browser stuff, not that I know of, and funky datatypes, nope, just stuff like, NSImage, NSString (remember Cocoa came from NeXTSTEP), and yes, you can pass object references.
        • Re:Mmmh, Cocoa. (Score:5, Insightful)

          by javaxman (705658) on Wednesday April 07, 2004 @07:49PM (#8798698) Journal
          If you already know C, and have some experience with OO ( like in Java, for example ), you already know most of what you'll need for Objective-C. As a language, there's not a lot to learn, it'll be learning new design patterns ( like Distributed Objects for threading and Key-Value-Coding for binding and serialization ) that'll take time to learn.

          If you don't already know C, you should learn it anyway, IMHO.

          Objective-C does reference counting, not garbage collection. That said, it really is a pretty simple set of rules to follow for memory management, it's just annoying for folks who've become lazy under true GC, and of course a terrible source of seg faults and memory leaks.

          Creating your own Cocoa control is easy as pie, though most often you start with a custom view object... data types are almost all exactly C data types.

          Cocoa does indeed have 'neat ideas', always has...

      • Re:Simple reason (Score:5, Interesting)

        by tupps (43964) on Wednesday April 07, 2004 @06:48PM (#8798124) Homepage
        I am both a .net developer (work) and a mac developer at home for my own projects. On the whole the two frameworks are reasonably similar, and if anything .net is a little more polished and has fewer quirks (for someone with a Java background).

        However cocoa has 2 things that make it really shine:

        1) Interface builder, to build similar UI's on a PC is very tedious. You want text boxes that expand with the window, tie a text box to one corner, place a button so it is always in the bottom right hand corner of a window. All of these things are a simple click away. No complex code to get all these things moving around.

        2) The Document Architecture. The support both frameworks have to build a simple utility style application (only 1 window, the window is the app) is pretty simple. The cocoa frameworks are simply *brilliant* when it comes to a document based architecture. You build the basics, and you get the following for free: open, save, new, recently opened, revert to saved, application automatically associates with its documents, window menus.

        With a bit of extra work undo/redo is supported and the ability to support applescript.

        In my mind to build all of this into a windows app would take a lot more time. I believe that a MacOSX developer can spend more time concentrating on what there app does rather than the extraneous issues such as a recently opened documents menu and the sort.

        This also means that on the Mac when a user opens a application and it saves/opens documents they can be pretty sure that in the file menu the recently opened items list will be right there. For a developer it would take them extra effort to remove this feature.
        • Re:Simple reason (Score:5, Insightful)

          by AstroDrabb (534369) * on Wednesday April 07, 2004 @08:46PM (#8799112)
          1) Interface builder, to build similar UI's on a PC is very tedious. You want text boxes that expand with the window, tie a text box to one corner, place a button so it is always in the bottom right hand corner of a window. All of these things are a simple click away. No complex code to get all these things moving around.
          You should change this to read: "to build similar UI's under _MS WINDOWS_". Under Linux there is no silliness about managing every stinking widget/control. I have been developing for over 10 years now under varied platforms and I could never stand all the tedious coding needed under MS Windows to make a stupid control/widget scale when the windows is resized. It was very brain dead on the part of MS to not include this. I cannot count how many hours I have wasted while doing MS Windows development just to get the damn GUI to look nice and consistent. Under Linux and Mac the widgets/controls are much smarter about scaling with the GUI without tons of lines of code to move 100 widgets around everytime the window is resized.
  • by kemapa (733992) on Wednesday April 07, 2004 @05:06PM (#8796870) Journal
    Does this not make perfect sense? I mean... how large can the learning curve be for Unix developers moving to MacOS X?
    • by PlatinumInitiate (768660) on Wednesday April 07, 2004 @05:19PM (#8797054)

      Does this not make perfect sense? I mean... how large can the learning curve be for Unix developers moving to MacOS X?

      The core of OS X is Darwin, which is based on FreeBSD, but the upper layers of the OS are based on Apple's own APIs (such as Cocoa, Carbon, etc) and NeXT framework. So, depending on what the Unix developers are planning to write (lower level stuff will undoubtedly be very similar, but higher level stuff will probably be quite different, unless they use X11 on OS X, which is also possible), the degree of difficulty in adapting will vary.

      However, Unix developers, usually being quite descerning, will probably find OS X to be an extremely well designed and put together development platform. It's great to see support for this OS increasing, Apple certainly deserves it.

    • by HeghmoH (13204) on Wednesday April 07, 2004 @05:21PM (#8797077) Homepage Journal
      It depends on what you're writing.

      If you're writing command-line tools, servers, or X11 apps, it's basically a slightly-strange BSD. A lot of code compiles and runs with no modification, and a lot more just requires some small tweaks.

      However, if you're writing a GUI application, the APIs are totally different. Mac OS X doesn't use X11 for "normal" apps. You can use standard Java APIs, and some toolkits like Qt have been ported, but for the most part they don't produce an app that feels like a native application. If you're writing programs for the desktop, there's a big difference. But even then, unix experience can come in handy for the non-GUI parts of the application.
    • by cheide (731641) <cnh_pub@shaw.ca> on Wednesday April 07, 2004 @05:21PM (#8797083)
      It depends on what kind of Mac developer you want to be.

      It's easy enough to run the X11 server, install all your familiar old packages via Fink, and use it pretty much like you would have used your previous UNIX setup.

      On the other end, if you want to be a 'true' Mac OS X developer, there are a few barriers to overcome:
      - Switching from GTK/Qt to the Cocoa or Carbon frameworks
      - Learning Objective-C (assuming you use the Cocoa framework)
      - Bundling applications and libraries properly
      - Following the Aqua UI guidelines
      - Integrating with other components like AppleScript nicely

      The advantage is that you can at least start out in the old, familiar environment while you work towards learning the new, preferred methods.

      (I've recently switched, though I'm still near the 'old-school' end of the spectrum for now.)
  • by lukewarmfusion (726141) on Wednesday April 07, 2004 @05:07PM (#8796877) Homepage Journal
    "Apple Developer Profile Changing?"

    What, like - no more single, fat, balding, Mountain Dew drinkers?*

    Oh wait, that's not just Apple Developers...

    *I'm a developer, too. Yes, it's self-deprecating humor. Thanks, I know.
  • New focus (Score:3, Funny)

    by abzorb (250578) on Wednesday April 07, 2004 @05:07PM (#8796882) Journal
    "Apple to add more sessions focusing on enterprise and IT"

    I hope it comes in PINK!
  • A Good Product (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Lewis Daggart (539805) <jonboze@gma[ ]com ['il.' in gap]> on Wednesday April 07, 2004 @05:07PM (#8796886) Journal
    Apple has a good product, its that simple. Its not a product I personally use, but it has its good points, and people are noticing it. And OSX really adds to the whole appeal.
  • I can see why (Score:3, Interesting)

    by CharAznable (702598) on Wednesday April 07, 2004 @05:08PM (#8796897)
    I can see why. I used Macs for years but I didn't write a line of code for them (except java) until Mac OS X came out.
  • by Sheetrock (152993) on Wednesday April 07, 2004 @05:09PM (#8796907) Homepage Journal
    Despite the unfortunate price/performance ratio of their hardware (as compared to PC equipment), the operating environment is quite conducive to programming. Add to that the general reliability of its operating system and programs as well as the general feeling of superiority that once accompanied Linux use and you've got a winner.

    The only thing I can't understand is why iTunes and QuickTime seem so inferior on Windows. If that's a byproduct of crossplatform programming, I don't know that I'd be that eager to switch (no matter how nice the development environment is, it's the final product that counts.) But other than that, I think they're on to something.

    • I understand what you mean. Apple hardware seems as good or (often) better than PC hardware, and their OS is amazing. When I buy a new computer it will be a Mac. It's too bad they don't get more customers (which they deserve considering their OS has, among other things, basically no viruses) but when you can buy a new PC from Dell for $500 and the lowest end mac is $700 or so, they'll have a hard time (despite the fact that a $700 Mac is better than basically any $700 PC if you consider what's included in s
  • by giaguara (632198) on Wednesday April 07, 2004 @05:09PM (#8796909) Homepage Journal
    300,000 registered developers (and a number of unregistered developers for their own use) for a platform that has under 5 % of market share is a pretty good number.
    I can't at least imagine windows having a similar relationship of developers/users.
    • by Dolly_Llama (267016) on Wednesday April 07, 2004 @05:14PM (#8796991) Homepage
      Considering there is a hardware discount for developers, many of that number aren't necessarily active coders, but simply signed up as developers for the discount.
    • by proj_2501 (78149) <mkb@ele.uri.edu> on Wednesday April 07, 2004 @05:16PM (#8797022) Journal
      well, part of the key thing is that apple allows you to register as a developer for free, and they give away all their tools and docs, unlike microsoft who charges you a few grand for the privilege of developing windows software.
    • by prockcore (543967) on Wednesday April 07, 2004 @05:21PM (#8797090)
      300,000 registered developers (and a number of unregistered developers for their own use) for a platform that has under 5 % of market share is a pretty good number.

      I'm a registered developer on OSX, yet I don't develop on OSX.. You need to be a registered developer just to download GCC. Just because I wanted to compile an app on OSX doesn't mean I'm an OSX developer.

      You need to be a registered developer to download the source for Darwin Streaming Server (so even if you run it on Linux you're still considered an "OSX developer")

      So that 300,000 number is grossly inflated.
    • by oscast (653817) on Wednesday April 07, 2004 @06:26PM (#8797874) Homepage
      Those of us that followed Apple in the mid-90s are all too familiar with the onslaught of negative publicity that the company received that ultimately predicted the company's imminent death. Of course, the claims were grossly over stated. Apple was a very healthy company at the time as it is now. Unfortunately, the publicity had such a negative affect, that these predictions almost resulted in a self fulfilled prophecy.

      At the time, Apple was still a relatively new player in most people's minds. The fact that many computer companies were in fact dying didn't help the stigma Apple received. When one misleading report was coupled with misconceptions about Apple and the marketplace, more reporters inevitably latched onto it and turned the situation into something far bigger than what it actually was.

      While I wouldn't classify most of that negative publicity a mass instance of "FUD" (fear uncertainty and doubt), as most instances of FUD are uniquely intentional. These were a combination of some fear uncertainty and doubt mixed with mass-confusion. Thankfully, after a lot of education, such proclamations of death are not taken seriously, no matter what the author's intent.

      However, there is a new round of Apple FUD that is not unlike the first and has been propagating throughout the same news scene as before. The new FUD is just as disturbing and equally pervasive as its predecessor but relatively undetected thus far. The new FUD plays on the public's misunderstanding about "market share" and "install base." Most individuals mistakenly use these terms interchangeably without fully understanding their meaning.

      Market share is a term that describes the gross number of product sold in a given time period.

      Install base is a term used to describe the gross number of products sold that are in use at any given time.

      The problem with using these terms interchangeably, -- at least when it comes to computers and computing platforms -- amounts to the same problem that occurred during the 90's era news reports. People are far less inclined to consider an alternative platform if there is concern that it may not be around in the future. In the case of Apple however, these claims are totally unfounded.

      Here's an example to put things into perspective: Lets say two people comprise 100% of all computer users on the planet. Each of these individuals bought a new computer for themselves at the same time; one a Macintosh and the other a Windows PC. Market share and installed base dynamics would indicate 50/50 percentages.

      But if after two years time, the Windows user decides to replace his computer, "market share" dynamics will show that Windows occupies 50% more of the market than that of Macintosh users... even though there are still only two individuals using a computer.

      Because "market share" only gauges sales of a platform as opposed to the total number of products in use, the results are skewed -- assuming we are solely trying to determine the total number of people using that particular product and not gauging sales. Of course, if we utilize the "Install base" dynamic, the ratio of computer users in our example is still 50/50.

      When a research company reports that Apple's market share has declined and is at 2%, they may very well be correct, but this is not an indicator that Mac users are defecting to Windows, nor does it in any way suggest that the total number of Mac users is at that number. Instead, it indicates that the number of Macs sold during that time period didn't grow as fast as Windows did. The market share statistic doesn't indicate the fact that the vast majority of Windows users are simply replacing their old systems or that Mac users don't typically upgrade their computers as often.

      Mac users tend to get more life out of their machine than their Windows-using counterparts. Because Mac users don't replace their computers as frequently, that translates to decreased "market share" even though install base grew... though not
  • by bigberk (547360) <bigberk@users.pc9.org> on Wednesday April 07, 2004 @05:09PM (#8796913)
    I'm a long time software developer who codes predominantly for Windows and UNIX, but because Macs have embraced the UNIX architecture I would now like to start coding for OS X. I personally feel that Mac OS has a much brighter future than Windows (still not sure about Linux desktop).

    It would not be a stretch to say that I'm willing to ditch Windows in favour of Linux and Mac OS.

    So far, I have found wxWidgets [wxwidgets.org] which is a C++ toolset that allows the creation of cross-platform GUIs (Windows, Linux, Solaris, MacOS) that uses native GUI elements on each platform (unlike GTK+ or Qt which end up looking non-native). To me this seems like the best way for a programmer to get into cross-platform, including Mac, programming. You don't sacrifice Windows compatibility.
    • except.. (Score:5, Insightful)

      by CoolMoDee (683437) on Wednesday April 07, 2004 @05:20PM (#8797071) Homepage Journal
      I too am in the boat, however, I thought the same as well (about wxWidgets), until I started programming with Cocoa and Objective-C. Once I got the hang of the syntax and using Interface Builder w/ Project Builder / XCode, I find it a pain to develop any other way. Sure I don't have crossplatform as much (gnustep?) but, I guess it is once you go NeXT you never go back.
    • by afidel (530433) on Wednesday April 07, 2004 @05:24PM (#8797129)
      Sorry but there is NO cross platform toolkit that is going to look native across those plaftforms. Using native elements doesn't make it native, it just makes it less foreign looking. The functionality and GUI design elements for those OS's are so far from each other that simply changing window dressing isn't going to make the functionality of an app apear native.
  • by abischof (255) * <alex@spam3.14cop.net minus pi> on Wednesday April 07, 2004 @05:11PM (#8796941) Homepage
    With all these Unix & Open Source developers flocking our way, I can only hope that one of them might develop a decent ftp client for OS X :). Granted, there are some decent payware clients (like Transit [panic.com]), but is an ftp client really worth $25? On the free side, RBrowser Lite [rbrowser.com] comes close, except that it can't change permissions [rbrowser.com] on the remote host :-/.
  • by MisanthropicProgram (763655) on Wednesday April 07, 2004 @05:11PM (#8796944)
    are free. Apple Developer Site [apple.com]
    Unlike another company that I won't mention who charges up the ass for theirs.
  • cocoa (Score:4, Insightful)

    by devonbowen (231626) on Wednesday April 07, 2004 @05:13PM (#8796967) Homepage
    I'm writing my first MacOS app now after decades with UNIX and X windows. I have to say I'm impressed with the Interface Builder and with the use of Objective-C as the main Cocoa language.

    But on the other hand, I think their class library leaves a lot to be desired. When I'm coding in Java and I'm working with, say, a collection class, I usually think "gee it would be nice if a method to do blah existed". And when I look it up, it's almost always there. The Java designers seem to think the way I do. But in Cocoa, it seems like the methods are rarely what I expect and I have to spent a lot of time figuring out how they want me to do it. Things that I feel should take me 5 minutes to code can actually take hours. It can be rather frustrating. Has anyone had similar experiences?

    That said, a lot of the core of this system was developed with the NeXT machine a long time ago. So I guess I have to cut them some slack there. Still, would be nice to have things modernized a bit. Just my experience...

    Devon
    • Re:cocoa (Score:4, Informative)

      by CoolMoDee (683437) on Wednesday April 07, 2004 @05:24PM (#8797137) Homepage Journal
      I was the same way, until I learned my way around the api, a great resource, if you don't already know about it is the Cocoa Mailing lists. http://cocoa.mamasam.com/ is a nice archive. I do agree it would be nice it some parts of it were more modernized (e.g. a nice Quicktime API) but im not sure when/if that will ever happen.
    • by jkheit (634306) on Wednesday April 07, 2004 @05:28PM (#8797187)
      I wrote an article [macobserver.com] on this a while back. Someone else in this thread asked why would anyone lock themselves into a proprietary development platform when Linux is available. Well, it ain't necessarily so proprietary.

      Beyond the obvious allure, i.e., OS X is the only easy to use desktop Unix that natively supports the major productivity applications (i.e., Microsoft Office). That combination is just not available. Yea, OpenOffice is nice, but for those that *need* 100% compatibility, it's not ready for prime time. Just like linux for the desktop.

      Anyway, ever since NeXT opened the developer spec for OPENSTEP, GNUstep has been doing a great job of recreating a compile compatible version. What this means is that Cocoa really isn't as proprietary as you might think because it sticks to the OPENSTEP spec. The result is apps developed for GNUstep can be compiled for OS X's cocoa with relatively little fuss or muss. In essence GNUstep is someone Mac compatible.

      Personally, I wish people would dump GNOME and KDE and adopt GNUstep with display ghostscript, a unified class structure, a great GUI, and Linux underpinnings; it is OS X for Linux. Ok, it's more like NeXTSTEP for Linux. Anyway, if anyone takes it mainstream it could mean big problems for Apple.
      • by IamTheRealMike (537420) <mike@plan99.net> on Wednesday April 07, 2004 @06:04PM (#8797640) Homepage
        Beyond the obvious allure, i.e., OS X is the only easy to use desktop Unix that natively supports the major productivity applications (i.e., Microsoft Office). That combination is just not available. Yea, OpenOffice is nice, but for those that *need* 100% compatibility, it's not ready for prime time. Just like linux for the desktop.

        What makes you think Office for the Mac is 100% compatible with Office for Windows? Even things like different kinds of font antialiasing can be enough to break compatibility in some scenarios, let alone things like Win32 specific VBScripts (that use WSH etc). Actually, it is of course possible to use the Real Thing(tm) on Linux courtesy of CrossOver, if you need it.

        Anyway, ever since NeXT opened the developer spec for OPENSTEP, GNUstep has been doing a great job of recreating a compile compatible version.

        Not really - GNUstep can't read the OS X UI files for one, it's not complete, and the GNUstep team are explicitly not interested in 100% compatibility (for instance, replicating wierd/buggy semantics of Apples APIs). And of course you have the whole deal of having to redo all the artwork, nobody using the GNUstep widgets and so on ....

    • Re:cocoa (Score:3, Insightful)

      by javaxman (705658)
      Cocoa's APIs are growing with every OS release. There are tons of Cocoa APIs and classes that are '10.3' only. Probably the most important of these are the APIs that support Bindings, although there are also a lot of silly new convenience APIs like one to automatically do iTunes-like table stripes.

      Also, there's something to be said for simplicity in APIs... Java's tendency ( especially in Swing ) to have two different API which do similar things "except", and convenience methods which duplicate functional

  • What about Darwin? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Oculus Habent (562837) * <[oculus.habent] [at] [gmail.com]> on Wednesday April 07, 2004 @05:13PM (#8796974) Journal
    It strikes me that Darwin could be much bigger than it is...

    Darwin comes with all the OS underpinnings of Mac OS X, right? Sure, no GUI, but what about the significant features - CUPS, CIFS, AFP, webDAV - aren't they there? If your company is looking at Linux but is facing those integration problems, isn't this an ideal solution? OS X on the desktop, Darwin on the servers that don't need a GUI.
    • No. It's really insignificant.

      If you're using Apple's hardware (which is pretty nice, and VERY cost-efffective, especially when compared to PC/Sun hardware), you get a free copy of OS X Server for an unlimited number of users -- free. So, $3,000 gets you a quality-made kick-ass 64-bit server on par with the higher-end stuff from the big PC vendors, and you don't have to pay for software.

      What's more, you don't have to pay for software, but you also don't have to pay for someone to administer them. Regar
  • by cacheMan (150533) on Wednesday April 07, 2004 @05:15PM (#8797006)
    Becoming a registered developer is the easiest way to download the development tools (standard gnu stuff that is missing from OS X). I am a registered developer, but I don't want to develop on OS X. I just want gcc when I'm there to fool around with.
  • by parvenu74 (310712) on Wednesday April 07, 2004 @05:19PM (#8797058)
    The trend of Unix and enterprise programmers moving to or "showing great interest" in MacOS X is something that could be a "tide that lifts all boats." Given that MacOS X is built on BSD and therefore a secure and nearly-bulletproof operating system), an upsurge in high quality, secure, robust enterprise calibre apps on the MacOS X platform will be great for business at large.

    And rest assured that Microsoft will do something to respond to the competitive threat. If the threat of Java gave us .NET, then maybe the threat of MacOS X will bring a truly secure and robust Windows platform...
  • by EQ (28372) on Wednesday April 07, 2004 @05:19PM (#8797066) Homepage Journal
    [Open Source/Unix/Linux] "Developers are moving to OSX"


    This tries to imply that they are leaving those environments and changing over to the OSX environment. Bad Spinmeistering by an Apple Rep. Its more like "Now that you have a BSD substrate I can add OSX to the list of ports I support for my apps".

    The developers are no more "moving to" OSX than they are "moving to" FreeBSD when they port an app there. He should have said something more like ... developers are adding OSX to their target OS's... Why do Apple types have to spin so hard all the time? They have a good OS and a decent hardware platform.

    (Personal feelings: I wish they would port OSX to Athlon64 or Intel architecture and more open/non-proprietary hardware components.)
    • The only proprietary hardware components in a Mac are the motherboard (logic board) and the CPU.

      Everything else is standard - hard drives, memory, expansion ports (firewire, ethernet, usb) graphics cards (with slight ROM modification to work with open firmware), optical drives, PCI cards...

      You can pretty much stick anything from awhitebox PC vendor in to a Mac. I buy all my memory from Crucial.com and it's the same stuff that goes in PCs.

      I bought my iBook's new internal HD from a PC vendor and it works w
  • by pavon (30274) on Wednesday April 07, 2004 @05:22PM (#8797104)
    I remember when our midschool first got some Macintoshs. I was really excited. They were so much more advanced than computers I had used before. I imediatly jumped on them and started exploring and learning as much as I could about the system. And then a week later I was done. There was nothing more I could explore (shame we didn't have HyperCard). It was a black box, and the privilege of getting inside that black box cost hundreds of dollars in compilers and documentation.

    So I got bored, played through some of games, and went back to my Apple IIe at home because it had a basic interpretor, hex editor and assembler and there were still things for me to explore. Latter went on to learn more free development QBasic, Java, C and Perl, which was all in DOS and then Linux. It wasn't until this last year that I used a Mac again.

    The original Mac was a great machine for people who just wanted to get stuff done - draw pictures and type report. But I didn't want to that, I wanted to create. I wonder how many potential developers were lost to it like I was. I also wonder what effect good or bad that had on the quality and consistency of the programs. The Mac was always praised for how closely the applications stuck to a consistant guideline, and wonder how much of that was due to the fact that the developers had to be part of an exclusive club to participate.
  • No suprise to me. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by C.Batt (715986) on Wednesday April 07, 2004 @05:22PM (#8797105) Homepage Journal
    I "switched" last summer because of the combination of Unix power + Apple User Experience.

    There's simply no fussing around. The environment fades into the background letting me concentrate on getting work done. XCode is a wonderful, comprehensive IDE and lets me develop OS X or Java apps (which I like) with the same set of great features.

    My only beef with this arrangement is that a 1ghz G4 PB is no longer a speed demon. I'd really like to get a G5 PB... c'mon Steve, show us the love.
  • And all of a sudden, visual studio was like BEEP BEEP BEEP, and my source code was, like GONE. The PC totally ate my source code!

    And it was GOOD source code, too.

    I had to retype my source code from scratch, like, REALLY FAST, and my boss thought it was really lousy and so my job got, like, outsourced to like, India.

    But my dad got me a new iBook G4 with Xcode, now I never get outsourced!

    My name is Ellen Feiss, and I'm a software developer.

    http://www.apple.com/switch
  • Student Developers (Score:5, Informative)

    by OmniVector (569062) <see my homepage> on Wednesday April 07, 2004 @05:30PM (#8797215) Homepage
    I'm in that boat. I got a WWDC scholarship to go to Apple's developer conference, and my application was basically "UNIX UNIX UNIX". I think they see this as a major new market: We can't get all the Windows users to switch, why not take a stab at the already-busy niche market? If you took a look in the OS 9 days just about everything popular that was a hobby OS is a close UNIX or direct UNIX deritivative. BeOS, Linux, FreeBSD, etc. If all these hobbiests are willing to do it for free and fun, why not take advantage of that and make it even better?

    I just started my mac os x programming. I wrote a lengthy objective-c tutorial [otierney.net] to get familiar with the language, and I'm going to write similar tutorials for AppKit and AppleScript. (I like to write tutorials as part of my learning. Helps me and others at the same time I think). It's a great language and environment based on what i know so far. Much much nicer than C++ coding.
  • by Jerk City Troll (661616) on Wednesday April 07, 2004 @05:30PM (#8797217) Homepage

    Developers! Developers! Developers! Developers!

  • Join The Club (Score:3, Interesting)

    by The Slashdolt (518657) on Wednesday April 07, 2004 @05:32PM (#8797239) Homepage
    I've been a software developer for about 7 years nows. Ranging from embedded work, windows, to linux/unix. More recently I've been a java developer and oracle dba. About a year ago I purchased a dual G4 powermac. I installed oracle and jbuilder8 on it within a couple of days and was developing software as easily as on any other system. I have been very happy with my purchases(though I wish I had a G5).

    Though I must admit, that I recently needed to purchase a laptop for doing some work on the road and chose not to go with a powerbook. Most notably because I felt the current offerings would not offer me the power I could get with the equivalent intel based system(where's the G5 powerbook???). Sad to admit, but possibly a more important factor to not choosing a powerbook was the single button touch pad. I use a two button w/scroll usb mouse on my powermac and I couldn't imagine using a single button touchpad on a powerbook. Yeah, yeah, I could use an external mouse, but on a plane its not so easy to do, so you must use the touchpad. I didn't want to suffer with that single button, ugh!

  • by guerby (49204) on Wednesday April 07, 2004 @06:11PM (#8797711) Homepage
    As mentionned on the GCC list [gnu.org]
    ld: xxx.o relocation overflow for relocation entry 587 in section (__TEXT,__text) (displacement too large)
    I guess that would make at least me an happier MacOSX developper (even if with Ada :). Laurent
  • by Qbertino (265505) on Wednesday April 07, 2004 @06:17PM (#8797782)
    Now quality counts.
    Steven Jobs did 2 years ago what in 5 years from now the rest of the IT corporations will notice as the way to go. Aside from the price/raw performance ratio current Macs kick any other computer up and down the street in terms of conceptual consequence.
    Windows/x86 just plain sucks and Linux and Co. are a geeky weedy mess that begs serious user initiative, including all the ups and downs, a large portion of them due to general overall x86 suckage.

    Macs on the other hand work. You turn them on and they work. It started with the IMac, with which you didn't even have to calibrate the screen. And was emphasized with those fully digital cinema TFT displays.

    BTW: On my workstations I'm all Linux since the last 2.5 years. But I'm going to get myself a 12" IBook next week. Best and cheapest subnote available.

    No, there is no use denying it: Macs rock, and with a Windows plattform growing crappier on a daily basis (Nazi registration, crappy rich media integration, viruses and all) they're going to be the next plattform for getting the job done hassle free.
    Yes, it's true: Steve Jobs, the visonary, did the only right thing: taking a reference grade quality Unix and adding a kick-ass GUI. I'm glad it's paying of for him. And since I've heard my wife using the Konqueror ask 'which button shall I click with?' more than twenty times I've even quit the silly 'only one mouse button' jokes.
    I tell you what: If this company does everything right, between a future economy class workhorse plattform (Linux) and a sleek hightec enduser appliance (Mac), there won't be much room for Microsuck Windows. Mark my word!
  • nice os but... (Score:4, Insightful)

    by hitmark (640295) on Wednesday April 07, 2004 @06:19PM (#8797800) Journal
    i dont like the fact that if you want to buy a computer running it you have to buy from apple. i would mutch rather have the ability to build myself a "mac" from of the shelf parts. alltho i fear this would more or less make apple's stability claims look like so mutch air...
  • 300 000 developers? (Score:5, Informative)

    by Freedom Bug (86180) on Wednesday April 07, 2004 @06:35PM (#8797949) Homepage
    I love numbers like that.

    I'm a registered Apple developer. I don't have a Mac, have no immediate plans to buy a Mac and am definitely not going to be doing any Mac-specific programming anytime soon.

    But I had to register to download Rendezvous source. Which doesn't bother me, just don't call me an Apple Developer!

    Bryan
  • by Nice2Cats (557310) on Wednesday April 07, 2004 @07:48PM (#8798688)
    And with that news just in, it is good to hear that Yellow Dog Linux [yellowdoglinux.com] has just announced [terrasoftsolutions.com] a new version of Linux for the PowerPC line for the end of May, including kernel 2.6 and support for 64 bit machines.

    Why is this important? Some of us really, really like Apple's hardware -- my iBook G4 was worth the money just because it is silent even under heavy loads, goes to sleep (and wakes) like a charm, and has a pretty impressive battery life compared to most x86 laptops. But OS X comes with a certain closed-system, choice-is-bad philosophy that just drives me nuts. Also, some of the programs included even in 10.3.3 are downright primitive -- Mail doesn't even have TLS in Panther -- and there is no cleanly integrated office package outside of MS Office.

    This is where Linux (or dual-boot) comes in: Virtual screens, Kmail, OpenOffice 1.1 without having to boot a second window system, and if you still want to run OS X applications, well, you just do it from Linux with Mac-on-Linux [maconlinux.org]. Hey, have your cake and eat it, too!

    I can see lots of people moving to iBooks and PowerBooks and G5s -- heck, in that sense, I'm a switcher -- but keep in mind that just because there is a glowing Apple on the cover, it doesn't mean that there isn't a penguin on the inside. Mac OS X is good if you can stomach its closed-world, Steve-knows-best philosophy, but a lot of people will want the best of both worlds.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday April 07, 2004 @08:37PM (#8799037)
    I love Mac OS X, it has great international language support. You can use multiple languages at the same time, set your favorite order and easily translate cocoa apps.

    I hate Mac OS X, the developer has to actively support multiple languages if you want your translation to survive a minor update. Even though all the ingredients are there to support automated updating with strings files, much like pot files on KDE, these are not automatically generated or even kept inside the application bundle, forcing users to become one of the 300.000 developers just to change some strings.

    I wish Mac OS X would create decent strings files as a default automatic proces during development. And read these text / strings files at execution just like it reads changed picture and Interfacebuilder files. Allowing any user to just translate this text file for there mother with a simple text editor and then send it to the developer who has to do nothing but distribute it and get free access to larger markets. The translator would not have to be kept in the loop, another user from the same language can spot a untranslated string in an updated application and add the single translation, then send the strings file to the developer.

    Already you can decide if you think a translation is bad and just turn it off in the info window and use the language of the developer. Come on Apple take that extra step and give powerusers easy access to the text of an application. Discover the world market.

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